New board members appointed to West Northamptonshire Development Corporation

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Communities minister Andrew Stunell has today announced three appointments to the Board of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, the…

Communities minister Andrew Stunell has today announced three appointments to the Board of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, the agency driving regeneration in West Northamptonshire.

Councillor Tim Hadland has been appointed as a nominated representative of Northampton Borough Council and Councillor Mary Clarke has been appointed as a nominated representative of South Northamptonshire District Council. In addition, Councillor Richard Church has been reappointed as the nominated representative of Northamptonshire County Council for a second term. All three appointments will run for the remaining life of the Corporation.

Andrew Stunell said:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Cllr Mary Clarke and Cllr Tim Hadland to the Board of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation and the reappointment of Cllr Richard Church. These appointments reaffirm the strong links with the local authority partners which are important to the delivery of the key development projects and critical in preparing the way for a fully local delivery body to take over the Corporation’s role.

John Markham, Chair of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Councillors Tim Hadland and Mary Clarke to WNDC’s Board and welcome the reappointment of Councillor Richard Church. Tim is a highly experienced and well respected figure in the local community, having served the people of Northampton for over 20 years with the Borough Council. Mary, as leader of South Northamptonshire Council, also brings a wealth of experience and will be a huge asset to the Corporation.

They succeed Tony Woods and Sandra Barnes respectively, both of whom will be greatly missed. Sandra has been at the Corporation since it’s very beginning, and amongst other projects, was instrumental in establishing the Moat Lane regeneration scheme in Towcester town centre. Similarly, Tony has made an outstanding contribution during his 3 years here, championing the ongoing regeneration of Northampton town centre.

The West Northamptonshire Development Corporation was established in 2004 to drive forward regeneration, improved infrastructure, investment and sustainable growth in the towns of Northampton, Daventry and Towcester. In October 2010 the Public Bodies Review announced that the corporation would be devolved into a local authority led delivery vehicle based on proposals to be submitted by the local authorities.

Notes to editors

  1. Remuneration for each appointment will be £11,968.19 for three days per month.

  2. Councillor Sandra Barnes is a member of South Northamptonshire District Council. Tony Woods was formerly a Northampton Borough Council councillor.

  3. The appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments. All appointments are made on merit. In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.

Brief biographies for those who have been appointed are below:

Cllr. Mary Clarke

Mary Clarke has served as Chief Executive of Cognisco since January 2004. Under her leadership, the company is now a plc with five wholly owned subsidiary companies including Cognisco USA Inc. Early 2008, Mary developed a new software products business as well as an occupational psychology practice. Cognisco now supports global corporations in over 150 countries and 31 languages across all the major business sectors, both private and public.

Before joining Cognisco, Mary spent over twenty years in the IT and Telecommunications industry. She developed a number of businesses worldwide including start-ups and high growth companies. She served as Vice President for Lucent Technologies (formerly AT&T Network Systems) and Director of Network Services, Digital Equipment Company Limited.

Mary is Leader of South Northamptonshire Council and has been an elected member for the past twelve years as Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration. She is the Chairman of the West Northamptonshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee and a Board member of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

Mary is a mathematics graduate from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

Political Activity - Conservative Party:

  • obtained office as a Local Councillor, MP, MEP etc

  • stood as a candidate for one of the above offices

  • spoken on behalf of a party or candidate

  • canvassed on behalf of a party or helped at election.

This member holds no other ministerial appointments.

Cllr. Tim Hadland

Tim initially commenced training as a Civil Engineer in 1965 but, following serious injury in a site accident leaving him permanently disabled, decided to change to property valuation. He graduated from the College of Estate Management with a Bachelor of Science degree in Estate Management in 1969 and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1971.

After working in Oxford and Surrey, Tim moved back to his home town of Northampton in1974 to act for Commercial clients, and other property owners, including property management working on valuation, survey, Compulsory Purchase and Sales and Lettings.

In 1983 he founded Hadland Chartered Surveyors, undertaking similar work for private, commercial and charity clients in Northampton and the surrounding area. He retired from the practice in 2011.

Tim was a member of Northamptonshire County Council from 1977 to 1981 and a member of Planning and Transportation Committee.

He has been a member of Northampton Borough Council since 1991 and is currently the portfolio holder for Regeneration and Enterprise having previously served as Leader of the Council, Finance Portfolio Holder, Opposition Leader, and Mayor of Northampton from 2000-01.

Political Activity - Conservative Party:

  • obtained office as a Local Councillor, MP, MEP etc.

This member holds no other ministerial appointments.

Cllr. Richard Church

Richard was born in Northampton and has lived here most of his life. He has a degree in politics at Reading University. He is a former director of his family’s business Church’s China, one of Northampton’s oldest established family retail businesses. Richard is the County Councillor for Kingsley in Northampton and former leader of the Liberal Democrat Group for both the Borough and County Councils. Richard was the Borough Councillor for Kingsthorpe from 1983 to 2011 and was the portfolio holder for planning and regeneration from 2007-2011. He is a former Mayor of Northampton and a former member of Northamptonshire Police Authority.

Richard has served as a member of Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee and represented the Council on the Northampton Area planning committee of WNDC. Richard has taken a particular interest in planning, and supports WNDC’s contribution to the regeneration in Northampton town centre.

Political Activity - Liberal Democrats:

  • obtained office as a Local Councillor, MP, MEP etc

  • spoken on behalf of a party or candidate

  • held office such as Chair, Treasurer or Secretary of a local branch of a party

  • canvassed on behalf of a party or helped at election

  • made a recordable donation to a political party.

This member holds no other ministerial appointments.

4. Urban Development Corporations (such as the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation) objectives are to secure the regeneration of its area.

This is to be achieved in particular through:

  • bringing land and buildings into effective use

  • encouraging the development of existing and new industry and commerce

  • creating an attractive environment

  • ensuring housing and social facilities are available to encourage people to live and work in the area.

For the purpose of achieving the regeneration of its area, the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation may:

  • acquire, hold, manage, reclaim and dispose of land and other property
  • carry out buildings and other operations
  • seek to ensure the provision of water, electricity, gas, sewerage and other services
  • carry on any business or undertaking for the purposes of regenerating its area.


Keep up to date with the Department by following us on Twitter (external link).

Media enquiries

Visit our newsroom contacts page for media enquiry contact details.